A new bill titled the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act would enable almost one million illegal immigrants to live and work in the state without facing deportation, a story in The Sacramento Bee reported.
Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar, is behind the legislation.
“I hope this shows Washington, D.C., that if they fail to act, California will take the lead on this critical issue,” Fuentes said in a statement.
He filed the measure Friday and needs to gather 504,760 voter signatures for it to make it on the ballot.
According to The Sacramento Bee
, Fuentes described the act as a “moderate, common-sense approach” to immigration reform. Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) described it as an attempt to skirt the law.
“There’s a proper process for coming to this country,” Donnelly said. “Why don’t you respect that?”
For illegal immigrants to qualify for the act’s benefits, they must have lived in California for four years, pay a fee to administer the program, and speak English. The state reportedly could get more than $300 million in new tax revenue if the bill becomes law.
John Cruz, former appointments secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the act will enable undocumented residents to “fully contribute to society by becoming taxpayers.”
Mike Madrid, former California Republican Party official, said a committee to stir support and seek donations will be created this week.
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